Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Imagination is more important than knowledge


  • Please log in to reply
73 replies to this topic

#1 Itoero

Itoero

    Protist

  • Senior Members
  • 797 posts
  • LocationBelgium

Posted 19 June 2017 - 02:15 PM

This is another Quote of Einstein.
He wrote it in the book Cosmic Religion and Other Opinions and Aphorisms"(1931).

"At times I feel certain I am right while not knowing the reason. When the eclipse of 1919 confirmed my intuition, I was not in the least surprised. In fact, I would have been astonished had it turned out otherwise. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research."

This is completely my cup of tea! :-)
Knowledge and imagination concern in a sense a duality in science.

What do you think about imagination and knowledge?


Edited by Itoero, 19 June 2017 - 02:44 PM.

  • 0
There are some things so serious you have to laugh at them.
-----------------------------------------------------------
It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how Nature is. Physics concerns what we say about Nature.

#2 KipIngram

KipIngram

    Molecule

  • Senior Members
  • 700 posts
  • LocationHouston, Texas

Posted 19 June 2017 - 03:17 PM

Well, I think there's truth in those words, but caution is in order.  On the one hand, you have people like Einstein, whose imagination leads them to things that turn out to be right.  Then on the other hand you have people who uncork the most ridiculous things.  I don't think Einstein's words should be taken to defend anything that someone coughs up, because some people's imagination leads them thoroughly out into the weeds.

 

I have no doubt that Einstein's imagination tended to stay "in bounds" because he also had knowledge.  So I absolutely do not think he was saying "imagination is all that matters."  Knowledge is very important too.


To say that a different way, imagination without knowledge doesn't get you there.  Knowledge is a necessary pre-requisite, but then having imagination as well makes all the difference in the world to how much you can contribute to new understanding.


  • 2

#3 Phi for All

Phi for All

    Chief Executive Offworlder

  • Moderators
  • 16,902 posts
  • LocationCO, USA

Posted 19 June 2017 - 03:48 PM

I think far too many people use imagination, which is as easy as storytelling, guessing, or lying, as a substitute for systematically eliminating their ignorance, which is hard but rewarding work. I also think those who know the inside of "the box" are the best qualified to think outside it.

 

I think imagination can't be more important than knowledge, so I disagree with Einstein. Imagination by itself is guesswork at it's worst. Knowledge alone would do much better, but when you have great knowledge your imagination is expanded, richer, and more nuanced. How can it not be?


  • 0
"You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Fred!" -- Super Chicken
 

My biggest problem is the absolute ignorance of the others who post here.


#4 dimreepr

dimreepr

    Scientist

  • Senior Members
  • 4,028 posts
  • LocationStonehouse, Gloucestershire.

Posted 19 June 2017 - 03:56 PM

Knowledge without understanding, seems much worse to me, because imagination is never without knowledge.


Edited by dimreepr, 19 June 2017 - 04:07 PM.

  • 0

Perchance he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill, as that he knows not it tolls for him; and perchance I may think myself so much better than I am.... -John Donne.

 

 

WARNING ...Participation in topics I start can seriously affect you’re grades... WARNING


#5 Manticore

Manticore

    Atom

  • Senior Members
  • 279 posts
  • LocationMwanza, Tanzania

Posted 19 June 2017 - 04:28 PM

Knowledge without understanding, seems much worse to me, because imagination is never without knowledge.

I can imagine any number of things of which I have no knowledge whatsoever.


  • 0

The existence of just one racist is proof that there exists at least one person who could be reasonably classified as sub-human.


#6 DrKrettin

DrKrettin

    Molecule

  • Senior Members
  • 655 posts

Posted 19 June 2017 - 04:37 PM

I think far too many people use imagination, which is as easy as storytelling, guessing, or lying, as a substitute for systematically eliminating their ignorance, which is hard but rewarding work. I also think those who know the inside of "the box" are the best qualified to think outside it.

 

I think imagination can't be more important than knowledge, so I disagree with Einstein. Imagination by itself is guesswork at it's worst. Knowledge alone would do much better, but when you have great knowledge your imagination is expanded, richer, and more nuanced. How can it not be?

 

I agree - imagination without knowledge is totally valueless. Knowledge without imagination useful, but rather limiting. Obviously a combination of the two, with imagination based on knowledge, is the optimum.

 

People who claim that imagination is of value without knowledge say this because it requires absolutely no effort at all. The knowledge is the hard work.


  • 1

κατθάνοισα δὲ κείσῃ οὐδέ ποτα / μναμοσύνα σέθεν /  ἔσσετ' οὐδὲ †ποκ'†ὔστερον· οὐ / γὰρ πεδέχῃς βρόδων / τῶν ἐκ Πιερίας· 


#7 dimreepr

dimreepr

    Scientist

  • Senior Members
  • 4,028 posts
  • LocationStonehouse, Gloucestershire.

Posted 19 June 2017 - 04:37 PM

I can imagine any number of things of which I have no knowledge whatsoever.

 

I imagined that post might be misunderstood.


  • 0

Perchance he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill, as that he knows not it tolls for him; and perchance I may think myself so much better than I am.... -John Donne.

 

 

WARNING ...Participation in topics I start can seriously affect you’re grades... WARNING


#8 Manticore

Manticore

    Atom

  • Senior Members
  • 279 posts
  • LocationMwanza, Tanzania

Posted 19 June 2017 - 04:51 PM

 

I imagined that post might be misunderstood.

I should maybe have added: 'therefore they are almost certainly totally useless.'


  • 0

The existence of just one racist is proof that there exists at least one person who could be reasonably classified as sub-human.


#9 dimreepr

dimreepr

    Scientist

  • Senior Members
  • 4,028 posts
  • LocationStonehouse, Gloucestershire.

Posted 19 June 2017 - 05:04 PM

Imagination is the way knowledge is converted to understanding; yes it's wrong more often than it's right, but that's the price of wisdom.


  • 0

Perchance he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill, as that he knows not it tolls for him; and perchance I may think myself so much better than I am.... -John Donne.

 

 

WARNING ...Participation in topics I start can seriously affect you’re grades... WARNING


#10 Manticore

Manticore

    Atom

  • Senior Members
  • 279 posts
  • LocationMwanza, Tanzania

Posted 19 June 2017 - 05:11 PM

I think you managed to totally misunderstand even with my addendum. I will now imagine a pink unicorn (in latex bondage gear).


  • 0

The existence of just one racist is proof that there exists at least one person who could be reasonably classified as sub-human.


#11 dimreepr

dimreepr

    Scientist

  • Senior Members
  • 4,028 posts
  • LocationStonehouse, Gloucestershire.

Posted 19 June 2017 - 05:15 PM

I think you managed to totally misunderstand even with my addendum. I will now imagine a pink unicorn (in latex bondage gear).

 

Where did you get that imagery, without knowledge? 


  • 0

Perchance he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill, as that he knows not it tolls for him; and perchance I may think myself so much better than I am.... -John Donne.

 

 

WARNING ...Participation in topics I start can seriously affect you’re grades... WARNING


#12 Phi for All

Phi for All

    Chief Executive Offworlder

  • Moderators
  • 16,902 posts
  • LocationCO, USA

Posted 19 June 2017 - 05:18 PM

It also makes sense to me that imagination is refined by knowledge. The more you know, the less time you have to spend using your imagination on concepts that aren't viable. You don't have to waste years of your life imagining that we're part of the matrix, or that the Earth is flat, or that you've developed the Theory of Everything without using maths.


  • 0
"You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Fred!" -- Super Chicken
 

My biggest problem is the absolute ignorance of the others who post here.


#13 Roger Dynamic Motion

Roger Dynamic Motion

    Atom

  • Senior Members
  • 273 posts

Posted 19 June 2017 - 05:19 PM

Well, I think there's truth in those words, but caution is in order.  On the one hand, you have people like Einstein, whose imagination leads them to things that turn out to be right.  Then on the other hand you have people who uncork the most ridiculous things.  I don't think Einstein's words should be taken to defend anything that someone coughs up, because some people's imagination leads them thoroughly out into the weeds.
 
I have no doubt that Einstein's imagination tended to stay "in bounds" because he also had knowledge.  So I absolutely do not think he was saying "imagination is all that matters."  Knowledge is very important too.

To say that a different way, imagination without knowledge doesn't get you there.  Knowledge is a necessary pre-requisite, but then having imagination as well makes all the difference in the world to how much you can contribute to new understanding.

One investigates is knowledge thought (imagination) ; then fallow experimentation to incise is Knowledge :
  • 0

#14 dimreepr

dimreepr

    Scientist

  • Senior Members
  • 4,028 posts
  • LocationStonehouse, Gloucestershire.

Posted 19 June 2017 - 05:28 PM

It also makes sense to me that imagination is refined by knowledge.

 

Indeed, it's a two way street.


  • 0

Perchance he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill, as that he knows not it tolls for him; and perchance I may think myself so much better than I am.... -John Donne.

 

 

WARNING ...Participation in topics I start can seriously affect you’re grades... WARNING


#15 Phi for All

Phi for All

    Chief Executive Offworlder

  • Moderators
  • 16,902 posts
  • LocationCO, USA

Posted 19 June 2017 - 05:34 PM

Indeed, it's a two way street.

 

I think it's more like a building, with knowledge being the foundation and structure that lets imagination reach farther (taller?). You can imagine the top of the building, but without the knowledge that makes it possible, it won't support you.


  • 0
"You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Fred!" -- Super Chicken
 

My biggest problem is the absolute ignorance of the others who post here.


#16 dimreepr

dimreepr

    Scientist

  • Senior Members
  • 4,028 posts
  • LocationStonehouse, Gloucestershire.

Posted 19 June 2017 - 05:46 PM

 

I think it's more like a building, with knowledge being the foundation and structure that lets imagination reach farther (taller?). You can imagine the top of the building, but without the knowledge that makes it possible, it won't support you.

 

But who knows what knowledge is needed to build it? 


Edited by dimreepr, 19 June 2017 - 05:54 PM.

  • 0

Perchance he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill, as that he knows not it tolls for him; and perchance I may think myself so much better than I am.... -John Donne.

 

 

WARNING ...Participation in topics I start can seriously affect you’re grades... WARNING


#17 DrKrettin

DrKrettin

    Molecule

  • Senior Members
  • 655 posts

Posted 19 June 2017 - 05:47 PM

One investigates is knowledge thought (imagination) ; then fallow experimentation to incise is Knowledge :

 

You could shuffle these words into any order and make more sense than as it stands.


  • 0

κατθάνοισα δὲ κείσῃ οὐδέ ποτα / μναμοσύνα σέθεν /  ἔσσετ' οὐδὲ †ποκ'†ὔστερον· οὐ / γὰρ πεδέχῃς βρόδων / τῶν ἐκ Πιερίας· 


#18 Roger Dynamic Motion

Roger Dynamic Motion

    Atom

  • Senior Members
  • 273 posts

Posted 19 June 2017 - 05:56 PM

You could shuffle these words into any order and make more sense than as it stands.

Explain your quote please ;so every one can evaluate your IQ.
  • -2

#19 DrKrettin

DrKrettin

    Molecule

  • Senior Members
  • 655 posts

Posted 19 June 2017 - 06:01 PM

Explain your quote please ;so every one can evaluate your IQ.

 

Well, that is the point - my quotation from you makes no grammatical sense whatsoever. The burden is on you to explain what you meant. 


  • 0

κατθάνοισα δὲ κείσῃ οὐδέ ποτα / μναμοσύνα σέθεν /  ἔσσετ' οὐδὲ †ποκ'†ὔστερον· οὐ / γὰρ πεδέχῃς βρόδων / τῶν ἐκ Πιερίας· 


#20 Roger Dynamic Motion

Roger Dynamic Motion

    Atom

  • Senior Members
  • 273 posts

Posted 19 June 2017 - 06:03 PM

Well, that is the point - my quotation from you makes no grammatical sense whatsoever. The burden is on you to explain what you meant.

Well,you should have asked me ; what do you mean ?
  • 0




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users